Challenging and Relevant Curriculum: Q&A with Wylie Eng, MBA 2019

Why did you choose the Evening MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?

I’d already taken off time to travel and pursue passions, so didn’t feel like I could take another 2 years off to do a fulltime program, that essentially left two options – Seattle U or UW. My sister had gone through the UW program many years before and had been happy with it, given her experience and UW broader reach/ program recognition/rankings, I selected Foster.

Student Experience

What has been the highlight of your Foster MBA experience so far?

  • Surviving!
  • The Business Finance class was talked up to be the hardest class of your life and given how much I struggled with the fall quarter I was quite concerned. Although I struggled in the class, I worked really hard and I learned that I actually quite enjoy financial/business case modeling. Ironically, winter quarter 1st year ended up being my best grade performance thus far in the program.
  • Getting to know other professionals in the area and at different companies. It’s been refreshing to get outside your social circles and get to know new people that are going through the same stuff as you. Everyone is in it with you, those same long nights, long days at work – they get it!

Are you a member of any student organizations?

MBA Association: I’ve formed stronger bonds with my fellow students, which has overall made the MBA experience better and far more enjoyable.

Curriculum

What class has been the most useful or interesting to you?

Except for a select few classes, I’ve really liked every class and found it useful in different ways. If I had to choose just a few….

  • Business Finance
  • Management and Leadership
  • Successful Negotiations
  • Management Consulting – problem solving/critical thinking
  • Strategic Product Mgmt.

What is the classroom environment like?

Depends on the class and prof. Sometimes lively, sometimes subdued. What I love is that students bring their everyday experiences into the classroom and apply them to the given topic we are learning about. It makes the discussions more interesting and dynamic, despite most everyone being exhausted. I think it is one of the unique benefits to doing an evening program where many of the students have a fulltime day job.

Faculty

Is there a particular faculty member who stands out in your mind as being really exceptional?

  • Christina Fong. She’s a bad ass, gives it to you real. She has real industry experience that she brings in daily to her lectures and class activities.
  • Mike Wittry! BEST TA EVER!!!! He worked side by side with me to help me succeed, adjusted his approach to meet my learning needs. HE IS THE BEST! I wish every TA I had was like Mike, I’d probably be a 4.0 student, LOL.

Career Impact

Are you planning on changing industries or job functions?

Yes and no? I’ve had 3 different jobs at the same company since starting the program (4 if you count when I applied). I think that the classes I’ve taken have given me broader exposure and knowledge that I’ve been able to plug and play in my day-to-day, whether that’s getting a new program off the ground, or thinking through how to value the brand. Almost every day at work, I can think about something I’m learning about and apply it at work. This is probably my favorite part about the evening program, I can instantly use what I’m learning to influence my decisions and behaviors at work instead of waiting a few months/years.

Work / Life / School Balance

What’s your #1 tip for someone considering an MBA?

  • Go in eyes wide open, it’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be worth it. #justdoit
  • And if you do it…be selfish, put yourself first, take care of yourself, and read essentialism.